Mos Generator, Spontaneous Combustions: All in a Day’s Work

Posted in Reviews on November 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator Spontaneous Combustions

Issued just a month after the Exiles collection of outtakes and covers, the four-song, Kozmik Artifactz-released Spontaneous Combustions LP is a sort of conceptual one-off from Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers Mos Generator. The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — is that the Tony Reed-led three-piece had an opportunity to get together and rehearse and record at a rental house before new tenants moved in and Reed, bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett began a US tour the following day. One assumes they started fairly early in the morning. Even so, for a group whose material is historically so structured and well put-together, it hardly seems like the the ideal circumstance for making an album. And one assumes that is precisely why they did it in such a manner.

The title Spontaneous Combustions, then, refers to the tracks themselves as being the result of improvisational jams; the trio setting up a few mics and hitting it with an eight-track recorder rolling to capture whatever came out. Mos Generator stepped back from the road this year, but between 2013 and 2018, they toured heavily with the Reed/Booth/Garrett lineup, and thereby developed the sort of chemistry that might, say, allow them to make an album in a single day’s time. But though the inclusions are plenty jammy and each one hovers somewhere around 10 minutes long — the exception is second track “Things to Unremember,” at 9:14 — the tracks aren’t just jams in the sense of the raw instrumentalist exploration proffered by some outfits. While opener “Bonehenge (Parts 1 & 2)” speaks to the urgency of its making in a kind of manic guitar line and sans-vocal approach, “Things to Unremember” and especially the subsequent “Who Goes There?” have vocals over top, and layered vocals in the case of the latter, meaning that at some point after the initial instrumental bed was laid down — even if it was on the same day — it was further developed.

Mos Generator, and Reed particularly, almost can’t help but write songs. The rule under which he worked was that things could be added to the basic track but not removed or changed, and indeed, “Who Goes There?” was an earlier piece they finished as a part of the session. So maybe Spontaneous Combustions-plus? However one wants to draw that line of distinction, the fact remains that one of American heavy rock’s most powerful power trios took a bold step in making a record like this, and after nearly two decades mostly-together in one form or another, the simple fact that they would push themselves to try something new at all is testament to the admirable nature of their creativity. The impulse — conceptual and in terms of the execution in these songs — bears fruit, whether it’s in the long, quiet stretch that opens “Who Goes There?” or the keyboard-added smooth jam at the beginning of closer “Age Zero,” also the longest song at 10:34.

And sure, one can hear a hiccup here and there on a probably-too-close inspection. Maybe that’s a hesitation because Garrett is wondering if there’s a change coming. Maybe that’s Reed pulling a bum note. Whatever it is, it’s to Spontaneous Combustions‘ credit that it’s left in. That might be the biggest departure Mos Generator make here, since while they’ve certainly done warts-and-all live releases in the past — the past year, that is — recent studio outings like 2018’s Shadowlands (review here), 2016’s Abyssinia (review here) and 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) have been clean and increasingly progressive affairs. “Who Goes There?” has shades of that, certainly, but the first impression with “Bonehenge (Parts 1 & 2)” and the last impression with “Age Zero” that Spontaneous Combustions makes is one of taking a far more open and naturalist approach. While I don’t doubt that time felt like a crunch with one day to work on all the material and get a usable take, etc., it’s just as likely it was a relief to record live, since once the song was down, that was it. The rules were set, and they required that the band be free from hammering out all the rougher spots in the material. It’s an intense process, but it throws open a range of possibilities as well.

mos generator spontaneous combustions

To be sure, the three-piece take advantage. “Things to Unremember” moves from its shreddy march into a more drifting verse, bluesy licks from Reed and a steady bass from Booth seemingly led by the plodding drums of Garrett. An Iommic riff emerges — as it would almost have to given the jam setting and the tempo — and “Things” threatens to come apart just before six and a half minutes in, but Reed‘s solo holds its course and the trio builds back up around it, eventually finishing with a last rendition of the semi-hook to give just a hint of how organically a sense of structure comes to Mos Generator. The song, as an idea and ideal, is always there. Even with just a matter of hours to put together an album. Why would they even try to get away from it?

In that way, “Who Goes There?” is an emphatic highlight, even if something of an outlier on Spontaneous Combustions for having been to some degree prior-composed. One can quibble with that if so inclined — as a fan of the band, I tend to think Mos Generator have earned the trust that they know what’s best for their own albums — but in its hypnotic beginning, emergent depth of groove and absolute standout melody it brings together the best of their more progressive recent work with this offering’s sonic reach, essentially tying the two sides together before “Age Zero” bookends with another instrumental push, mellower on the whole than that of “Bonehenge (Parts 1 & 2),” which maybe toys subconsciously with some Earthless influence, but still sweeping up at the end to finish in raucous fashion.

Time has proven Mos Generator can go where they please when they please and still retain their identity. They’ve done hardcore punk, they’ve done psychedelia, they’ve done prog, and they’ve done a whole lot of heavy rock and roll. It has come to a point where it’s almost shocking to think of them as still being a relatively straightforward act, but it’s always the songcraft that comes through no matter how it’s being put to use. In putting that to the side even somewhat, Spontaneous Combustions feels particularly brave on the part of ReedBooth and Garrett, but that’s nothing new for them either, and they demonstrate not only the roots of their process here, but the clarity of vision that underscores their material even at its foundations. I won’t attempt to predict what they might do next — their every-two-years pace for a proper studio release has one due in 2020, if they intend to hold to it — but I do hope this isn’t the last time Mos Generator take on a project like this. The possibilities are as vast as they want them to be.

Mos Generator, “Shadowlands” live in Cleveland, OH, 2018

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Mos Generator to Release Exiles Collection of Lost Tracks and Covers

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator glory or death

You know my feelings on Mos Generator: the more the merrier. Fortunately, the band generally seems to work under this ethic as well. There’s been a fair amount of news from the Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers over the last couple months as they’ve played limited regional live shows but announced releases like the Spontaneous Combustions jam collection and the redux The Late Great Planet Earth Suite, following up on the bootleg-ish live record Night of the Lords earlier this year. Add to that list Exiles, due out at the end of this month through Glory or Death Records with preorders up now. The two-sided offering brings together tracks recorded during the sessions for Mos Generator‘s 2018 studio LP, Shadowlands (review here), with various covers of Van Halen, Rush and Black Sabbath on side B.

Cool stuff all around. The Sabbath cover — “Air Dance,” from Never Say Die — has been posted by the band before, and you can hear it below. I hate to say it, but would it be too much to ask Mos Generator to cover that whole album? I mean, I know that might be a lot of time, but they’ve done plenty of Sabbath tunes over the years any, as guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed notes below, and “Air Dance” really, really fits with their sound. I’d love to hear them do that entire record. And with the rate at which Mos does stuff these days, figure maybe they’d be up for it, just to keep busy.

I’ll look for an announcement of that soon (not really, but it would be cool). In the meantime, here’s preorder info for Exiles:

Mos Generator – Exiles

Side A of this release is a collection of outtakes from our last album Shadowlands. “Twelve Psychics” which was pulled from Shadowlands at the eleventh hour, and “Battah”, show a more metal side to our writing which is usually represented by at least one song on each of our albums. The third track on side A is an alternate version of a song from Shadowlands called Woman Song. “The Lady Vanishes” is an extended (and at times drastically different) version of the track that made it on the album. I think I prefer this version and I’m not sure why I put the edit on the final tracklisting for Shadowlands.

Side B is comprised of three covers we recorded over the last few years. The first is a song from Van Halen II. This is my favorite VH song and I’m very happy with how it came out. Next up is “Air Dance” by Black Sabbath. I really enjoy the Never Say Die album and although it doesn’t fall into the classic Sab album lineup, it has a lot to offer as a unique and diverse album. We’ve done a lot of Sabbath covers over the years and this was by far the most challenging. Last on side B is “Anthem” by Rush. Sometimes I think Rush get overlooked as being a powerhouse heavy rock band and I think Anthem is the proof. This was from our first live performance of it from Vancouver BC 2016.
– Reed, August 2019

Mos Generator – Exiles
Program One:
Twelve Psychics
Battah
The Lady Vanishes

Program Two:
Light Up The Sky (Van Halen)
Air Dance (Black Sabbath)
Anthem (Rush)

PreOrders are open now with official release set as October 28th.

You can secure your copy at Glory or Death Records Web Store;
gloryordeathrecords.bigcartel.com

Mos Generator “Exiles”

Side A
1. Twelve Psychics 03:49
2. Battah (Featuring Bob Balch of Fu Manchu) 03:42
3. The Lady Vanishes 05:05

Side B
4. Light up the Sky (Van Halen Cover) 03:09
5. Air Dance (Black Sabbath Cover) 05:19
6. Anthem (Rush Cover) 04:31

Available in 4 options;

Test Press;
12” Test Press “Exiles”

Die Hard Version;
Metallic Mix Cherry Bomb 12″ Vinyl
2′ x 3′ Mos G/Glory or Death Tapestry
(Photo attached)
Mega Mos G/Glory or Death Sticker Pack
(Photo attached *CD not included)
Digital Download

Transparent/Clearwater Blue 12″ Vinyl Mos Generator – “Exiles”;
Transparent/Clearwater Blue 12″ Vinyl
Random Stickers
Digital Download

Transparent/Clear 12″ Vinyl Mos Generator – “Exiles”;
Transparent/Clear 12″ Vinyl
Digital Download

Mos Generator is:
Tony Reed: guitar, vocals
Jono Garrett: drums
Sean Booth: bass

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Mos Generator, “Air Dance” (Black Sabbath cover)

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Mos Generator Release Remastered The Late Great Planet Earth Suite; Live Shows This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Heavy rockers who wear that designation like the badge of honor that it is Mos Generator have reissued their 2005 album The Late Great Planet Earth in remastered and, as they put it, “newly restored” form. I wasn’t sure what that means in this context, but founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed was kind enough to offer some clarification, which you’ll see below. Billed as The Late Great Planet Earth Suite: Parts I-XII, the new version all the more highlights the flow and conceptual narrative at the heart of the original. It’s out now digital through Bandcamp with eventual hope of doing it up as a deluxe 3LP/2CD/DVD boxed set that, frankly, kind of seems like it would rule. Party on, Mos Generator. Make that shit happen.

Though the Port Orchard trio have had a couple offerings out new and archival in 2019 as they will in any given year these days, they’ve stepped back touring considerably from what they were doing since about 2014 when founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed revamped the lineup with an eye specifically toward taking the band on the road. Well, their four shows slated for 2019 start on Oct. 10 and go through Oct. 13, which just happens to be this week/weekend. They’re playing with Teepee Creeper, Clutch and Red Fang, among others, and will no doubt have more news of one kind or another soon.

Here’s what’s up until then:

mos generator shows

Mos Generator “The Late Great Planet Earth Suite parts 1-12” is a newly restored and remastered version of our second album, first released on vinyl only in October 2005. This digital version features the 12 part 43 minute suite as one track rather than 12 movements broken up into separate tracks thus giving the listener the full experience as originally intended.

Says Tony, “The restored part is about being able to separate all 12 movements, master each song separately and then re-assemble it as one long song. I thought I had lost all of the songs as stand alone tracks so every pressing (on 3 different labels) over the years has been from the same source that I wasn’t completely happy with. I’m a little more satisfied now.”

The Late Great Planet Earth Suite:
I. On the Eve (including: The Midnight Sun)
II: Crematorium
III: Six Billion People Dead
IV: Opium Skies
V: The Myopic
VI: Closed Casket
VII: Fall of Megiddo
VIII: Zero to Infinity
IX: The Late Great Planet Earth
X: Golden Chariots
XI: Exit the Atomic Age
XII: The World Set Free

This is part of a continuing effort to do a super deluxe release of this album. Our hope is for a set containing 3 Lps, 2 Cds, 1 DVD, extended download, 12″x12″ booklet and an assortment of other memorabilia from the 2004-2005 era.

Mos Generator was:
Tony Reed: Guitar/Vocals/Keyboards
Shawn Johnson: Drums
Scooter Haslip: Bass

We’re only playing 4 shows this year. Here they are.

10/10 Little Devil’s – Port Angeles WA (w/ Teepee Creeper)
10/11 Manette Saloon – Bremerton WA (w/ Thylacine – Corrosive Company)
10/12 Midtown Bend – Bend OR (w/ Clutch – Red Fang)
10/13 McDonald Theater – Eugene OR (w/ Clutch – Red Fang)

Mos Generator is:
Tony Reed: guitar, vocals
Jono Garrett: drums
Sean Booth: bass

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Mos Generator, The Late Great Planet Earth Suite: Parts I-XII (2019)

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Mos Generator Announce Spontaneous Combustions Release Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Comprised of four songs pressed up under the banner of Kozmik Artifactz, the next Mos Generator LP will be a collection of jams titled Spontaneous Combustions. It’s the band’s second outing of 2019 behind the Night of the Lords live album (discussed here) and it follows their 2018 studio offering, Shadowlands (review here), which likewise found the Tony Reed-fronted trio pushing into new avenues of progressive expression. That’s kind of Mos Generator‘s thing at this point, and while the core of the band remains in their foundation of songwriting, they’ve particularly over the last few years taken on a willingness to go places they haven’t before. It suits them.

This release was initially discussed here last month in an interview with Reed, and as you can see in that piece, it’s far from the only thing going on in that camp.

Still, here are the details as posted on thee social medias:

mos generator spontaneous combustions

We have a new album coming out on Kozmik Artifactz later this year. Here’s a few words about it and a work in progress mock up of the cover.

Mos Generator “Spontaneous Combustions”.

Production notes:
With a working title of “rental jams”, the idea to do these recordings came from the fact that long time tenants had moved out of our rental house and it was empty for a while before the next ones would move in. We had a one day window to work with, which meant we had to record as much improvised material as possible and also have a proper rehearsal to prepare for the U.S. tour that was starting the next day. To make things as easy as possible, I recorded using only an eight track machine with a very minimal microphone setup. All music had to be captured live with mistakes and all. I would be able to add additional instruments to what we did but would not be able to take away anything that was recorded live. Three of the four songs recorded that day were written at the moment they were recorded. “Who Goes There” was conceived and partially recorded about a year earlier and finished up during these sessions. Although we use this technique to do demos, we have never made a complete record of freeform jams.

Reed – August 2019

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Mos Generator, Night of the Lords (2019)

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Six Dumb Questions with Tony Reed of Mos Generator

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

tony reed

The mantle of being the hardest working person in show business has been worn by many over the last century-plus, perhaps most notably James Brown, but if we’re talking about heavy rock and roll, Port Orchard, Washington’s Tony Reed makes a strong case for himself. The frontman of the long-running Mos Generator is also near ubiquitous in his studio work on the production side, recording, mixing and mastering bands far and wide. He’s taking part alongside Bob Balch of Fu Manchu and Gary Arce of Yawning Man in the reincarnated Big Scenic Nowhere, and he’s just recorded the first Saint Vitus LP to feature Scott Reagers in over two decades. In August, he’ll tour for the second time in Europe playing bass for Melbourne’s Seedy Jeezus, whom he’s also recorded.

Oh, and for having what he calls a “mellow year,” Mos Generator have already released a hand-assembled live album through Devil’s Child Records and have a collection of studio jams on the way through Kozmik Artifactz. Reed is also learning to cut his own records, so expect much more to come. Like maybe that country rock project he’s got, Hot Spring Water! They’d be perfect for a cut 12″. He’s also been kicking around doing some reunion shows with Twelve Thirty Dreamtime, his band before Mos.

Clearly the man cannot be stopped.

Reed sent a raven recently with details on all of the above and a bunch more and, frankly, it was staggering. I didn’t even know where to start, but we went back and forth and what made the most sense to me was to get an interview together — as always, it took me forever to actually write out the questions — and give him the chance to talk about what’s going on with each of these things, say what he can say at this point and roll like that. With so much going on, some he can talk about and some he can’t, it was really the only way. Expect more news on a lot of this stuff as it continues to develop — the Big Scenic Nowhere LP, the Mos Generator jams release, record cutting, etc. — but the point is that, in all seriousness and all sincerity, I find Reed‘s singular level of passion to be deeply inspiring. He is relentlessly creative, and he doesn’t know how else to be. That kind of person is rare and with the consistent level of his output across such a wide variety of contexts, it’s only all the more impressive.

He talks about Mos Generator touring Australia with The Atomic Bitchwax early next year. I look forward to inviting myself on that run. I’d write a whole book about it.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

Six Dumb Questions with Tony Reed

First up, what’s up with Mos Generator for the rest of this year?

It’s been a pretty mellow year for the band. We’ve spent a lot of time on the road over the last four years and thought we would kick back for a bit. It looks like we will only play four shows this year. Two of them are with Red Fang and Clutch so we will be able to reach a new audience with the touring. Early 2020 we will be going over to Australia to tour with The Atomic Bitchwax. We’ve been out with them before so that was great news to hear we would be doing our first Aus tour with them.

In May Devil’s Child Records released a live album called Night of the Lords recorded in Manchester, England, in 2017 and later this year, Kozmik Artifactz out of Germany will release an album of freeform jams called Spontaneous Combustions. I just submitted the masters so hopefully it will be out by Fall. Like The Firmament and Lies of Liberty, Spontaneous Combustions is very different from our usual studio albums. I really enjoy adding new textures to the band and although we usually do a freeform jam section in our live shows, this is a whole album of them. All recorded in a six-hour time period.

You’re involved with Bob Balch and Gary Arce’s Big Scenic Nowhere project. You toured with Fu Manchu of course, and Gary is Gary, but how did you end up getting involved there, and will you continue to be a member of that band?

Bob contacted me to work on a song with him and I’m pretty sure it was a mix of touring with Fu Manchu and my contributions to his site PlayThisRiff that gave him the idea to contact me. We got along well on the road and we both work very hard at our craft.

After I finished the first song he just started sending more to see if I was inspired. I ended up doing vocals on quite a bit of the songs across the EP and the full-length. I also added Mellotron and synths to a few songs. A song I wrote has me on drums/vocals, Bob on guitar and my son Kylen on bass. How cool is that?

Bob, Gary and I have been talking about being the core lineup and continue to have guests come in. There are some really cool musicians playing on this that I am totally honored to be associated with. I’ve also started to call on people I know and respect to participate and everybody has been really cool. Musically there doesn’t seem to be any boundaries and that is great.

You’re also playing bass on tour again with Seedy Jeezus in Europe. How was that experience last time and how does being in the band differ from recording them?

I really enjoy hanging out with Lex and Mark. They know each other so well. They will have these massive blowup arguments that you feel might end the tour and right at its zenith, then it will be like ,“so where are we gonna eat mate?” like nothing ever happened. Total entertainment. I’ve got some great audio and video clips on my phone.

After recording two albums with them and doing the tour last year I feel like I’m part of the band. It was like that from the first time we met. Easy to get along with. I’ll be back over there to record the next Seedy full-length right before the Mos boys fly over for the tour.

You recorded Saint Vitus’ new self-titled album. What was it like having them in the studio again? Did you get Dave Chandler to put any mids in his guitar this time?

They were less prepared this time but everybody really worked to make a great album that ended having classic Vitus elements and some new textures. Henry and Pat both contributed to the writing so that gave the album some diversity while still sitting in the spot the fans are used to. Also, Reagers is a stud. Great vocalist and one of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet. Always positive and professional without being too serious. Chandler kept his classic EQ settings. :)

Tell me about the record cutting project.

Well… my buddy Jeremy Deede brought up the idea of buying a record lathe. We found a guy in Germany that builds them so we contacted him and he told us he won’t sell it to us if we don’t take the class so I flew over to Germany a few weeks ago and took the 15-hour one day crash course in record cutting. I did get to bring home my first few attempts at it and they sounded better than I thought they would. We should have the machine and a whole bunch of blanks next week and I’ll start to get grip on making some nice cuts. After I get comfortable with it we are going to launch a site where people can have one-off records cut. Needless to say I’ll be making records of everything I ever wanted on vinyl. Exciting stuff!!!

What keeps you going, Tony? Every year you seem to have your hand in so much and so much going on. What is it that lets you do that? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff happening at any given time?

I discovered that I had musical ability when I was around 12 and ever since then I pretty much haven’t stopped. I’ve written and recorded more music than I can even remember. I’ve been going through 40 years of tapes and other recorded media that I am cataloging and saving and I’m finding so much music I forgot I even made. From ideas recorded on a boombox in 1985 to complete songs from even just a few years ago. When I think about how much time I’ve spent next to some kind of recording device with a guitar in my hand or behind a drum kit it’s staggering. I have so many musical endeavors going on (including my job) that it is sometimes hard to finish stuff. My dry erase board in the studio always has scribblings all over it. I like it that way. Leaving a legacy has always been important to me and that along with not knowing, and not wanting to know, anything else in life is what keeps me going. I’ve always been very prolific. I often wonder if that will ever disappear.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

I’m putting a lot of time into a project called Hot Spring Water. It’s a country rock project in the style of early ’70s artists like Leon Russell, Graham Nash and Neil Young. Mykey and Mike were the rhythm section from Stone Axe and we actually started this project in 2011. A few months ago we added Bo Mcconaghie on guitar with me and started rehearsing for shows. We’ve played two shows and they have been really fun. It’s so much different than Mos Generator. Bo and I use six watt Fender Champ amplifiers so we have a six watt ceiling for live volume. It’s great! people can enjoy the show without getting their ears blasted. It’s also challenging because playing that clean and quite means your can hear every mistake. Challenges are good.

Tony Reed, Assembling Night of the Lords

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Mos Generator Announce Night of the Lords Bootleg-Style Live Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

I love bootlegs. I really do. I’ve got a bunch of old bootleg CDs and a couple LPs that I absolutely think of as treasure. Traditionally, bootlegs pretty much rip off the artist in question, but there’s no doubt that there are some bootlegs out there — looking at you, HendrixBeatles, etc. — that are as classic as any proper studio album. Black Sabbath at Asbury Park 1975? Shit, it’s the best live record they never bothered to release.

Given that Mos Generator do so much with a classic heavy rock influence, it makes sense they’d be the first in a new series of bootleg-style outings from Devil’s Child Records. Legally speaking, it all seems to be on the up and up — Tony Reed mixed and mastered, so it ought to be — which is nice, but the numbers available are limited and it’s a live recording from their UK tour in 2017, so maybe a fan-piece, but screw it, I’m a fan. Check out “Breaker” streaming at the bottom of this post, to get a sample of what it’s all about.

Info from the PR wire:

mos generator night of the lords

MOS GENERATOR New Live Album ‘NIGHT OF THE LORDS’ (Manchester UK, October 4th 2017) via DEVIL’S CHILD RECORDS On May 3rd

Port Orchard, Washington’s MOS GENERATOR spent most of 2016 and 2017 on tour supporting their ‘Abyssinia’ album. During a special night on the tail end of the tour, an entire set was recorded at Rebellion, in Manchester England on October 4th, 2017.

Mixed and mastered at his HeavyHead Recording Company in January 2019, Tony Reed, guitarist and vocalist for MOS GENERATOR, tells the tale:

“Many months after the European leg of the Abyssinia Tour was over, I was cleaning out my guitar case and found a flash drive that I had forgotten about. Upon inspection, I realized it was a complete multi-tracked live performance, date and city unknown. After listening to some of the banter in between songs, I figured out that it was from Manchester, England. I distinctly remembered that show, because we played a Mahavishnu Orchestra/King Crimson medley that night and I think we only ever played it live three or four times.

That wasn’t the only interesting addition to the set list that night – “Easy Evil” was also a rarity in the set, along with the opener “Strangest Times.” “Shadowlands” (title track of the future 2018 album) was performed at the show as well, and we rarely played new songs before they were recorded and released. All in all, it was a blazing set that focused mainly on songs from ‘Abyssinia’, but also included a well-rounded collection of songs from our previous albums.

The album title is a play on “Day of the Lords”, a song by the band Joy Division from Manchester, England. The cover of this official “bootleg” release is a tribute to many of the unofficial records I have from the 70s on infamous labels like Trademark of Quality, The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label (TAKRL), and Wizardo. In the early days of bootleg vinyl, they just glued a photo copied piece of paper on a white jacket and called it good. The inspiration for this layout came from a David Bowie bootleg called “His Master’s Voice”, one of the first bootlegs I ever owned.

Most of the time when I (rarely) listen back to live recordings of the band, I find myself remembering our performance as being better in my head than it actually was. That is not the case with this show. The set list, energy, performance and the right amount of risk-taking make this a show we are excited is getting released.” – TR

‘Night Of The Lords’ Tracklist:

Side One:
Strangest Times
Lonely One Kenobi
Shadowlands
Easy Evil
There’s No Return From Nowhere
Dance of Maya / Red

Side Two:
Breaker
On The Eve
Catspaw
Step Up/Jam
Electric Mountain Majesty

Mos Generator’s ‘Night Of The Lords’ live album, the first release in the Devil’s Child Records ‘Bootleg Series’, was created in true bootleg fashion. Pure rock music captured in a live recording, issued in a limited run of 100 copies on black vinyl. Each record is hand-numbered with either a yellow or blue photo cover on primarily a hand-assembled package. A few test presses will also be available on release date. There are no pre-orders.

‘Night Of The Lords’ will be available on May 3, 2019, from Devil’s Child Records: https://devilschildrecords.bigcartel.com/

A few words from Rachel Williams, Overlord at Devil’s Child Records:

“Devil’s Child Records is elated to present the first record in our new ‘Bootleg Series’, Mos Generator, ‘Night of the Lords’. Bootleg records were created as a rebellious act of defiance all for the love of music. This series is all about our love of music, and pays a unique homage to the bootleg recordings from the 1970’s.

We are excited to be working with Mos Generator again for this release, with special thanks to Tony Reed in helping shape an idea into a reality for the Devil’s Child Bootleg Series.”

MOS GENERATOR are:
Sean Booth – Bass
Tony Reed – Guitar, Vocals, Other Instruments
Jono Garrett – Drums

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Mos Generator, “Breaker” from Night of the Lords (2019)

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Mos Generator Announce Sept./Oct. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Got a record, got a tour. Washington-based heavy rockers Mos Generator continue their road-dogging ways in support of their 2018 album, Shadowlands (review here). Issued through Listenable Records, its take on the band’s trademark straightforward, classic style leans a little bit darker and a little bit more progressive than it has in the past, but Mos Generator are still Mos Generator beneath it all, and with stops along the way at Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh and Doom and Stoned in Indianapolis, this run of headlining dates should be all the more of a success. These shows run into October and I can’t help but wonder if they might be headed back to Europe early next year sometime, either for a winter tour or maybe Spring fests? They seem to get around so much these days it’s hard to keep track of where they’ve been and where they’re headed next.

The answer to that question, incidentally, is everywhere.

From the PR wire:

mos generator tour

MOS GENERATOR: Heavy Rock Power Trio Confirms US/Canadian Headlining Tour In Support Of Shadowlands Full-Length

Washington-based power trio MOS GENERATOR will bring their heavy riffing to stages this fall on a US/Canadian headlining tour. Set to commence September 21st in Port Angeles, Washington and run through nearly two-dozen venues upon its conclusion October 13th in Portland, Oregon, the journey includes stops at Descendants Of Crom Fest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as Doomed & Stoned Fest in Indianapolis, Indiana. The latest tour follows the band’s month-long US trek earlier this year which included sixteen dates supporting Fu Manchu as well as an appearance at the 2018 edition of Hellfest in Clisson, France. See all confirmed dates below.

Comments MOS GENERATOR founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed, “This will be our first time out on the road with the new album Shadowlands at the merch table. We were hoping to have them on the Road Rats tour with Fu Manchu in May but that didn’t happen, so we’ll make it up to you here and make sure to bring plenty. We will be playing a large majority of the new material as well and that’s a treat for us. This is also our first tour across Canada. There are some hard drives, but we are excited to get to those territories.

MOS GENERATOR released their Shadowlands full-length in North America earlier this year via Listenable Records. Shadowlands was recorded in three sessions – June 2017, November 2017 and January 2018 – at the HeavyHead Recording Company in Port Orchard, Washington and comes swathed in the cover art of Adam Burke (Pilgrim, Satan’s Satyrs, Hooded Menace, Artificial Brain et al).

Find physical ordering info at THIS LOCATION. For digital orders go HERE.

MOS GENERATOR – Tour Of The Shadowlands 2018:
9/21/2018 Little Devil’s Lunchbox – Port Angeles, WA
9/22/2018 Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA
9/23/2018 The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA
9/24/2018 The Palomino – Calgary, AB
9/25/2018 Bulldog Pizza – Winnipeg, MB
9/27/2018 Coalition – Toronto, ON
9/28/2018 House Of Targ – Ottawa, ON
9/29/2018 Descendants Of Crom Fest – Pittsburgh, PA
10/01/2018 Bugjar – Rochester, NY
10/02/2018 Pauly’s Hotel – Albany, NY
10/03/2018 Soliday’s – Niagara Falls, NY
10/04/2018 The Sanctuary – Detroit, MI
10/05/2018 Doomed & Stoned Fest – Indianapolis, IN
10/06/2018 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
10/07/2018 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
10/09/2018 Streets Of London – Denver, CO
10/11/2018 Press Club – Sacramento, CA
10/12/2018 The Alibi – Arcata, CA
10/13/2018 High Water Mark – Portland, OR

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Mos Generator, Shadowlands (2018)

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Friday Full-Length: Stone Axe, I

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Those who cite retro heavy rock as a European-only phenomenon have obviously never dug into Stone Axe‘s 2009 debut, Stone Axe I. The album, with its striking, vinyl-ready cover art and 10-track/38-minute run, was created with the express mission of paying homage to heavy ’70s rock and roll. And that’s precisely what it did, capturing the warmth of production and a live-in-the-studio feel that remains one of the best American executions of the style regardless of the band’s seemingly permanent dissolution. With the hooks of songs like “Black Widow,” opener “Riders of the Night,” “The Skylah Rae” and “There’d Be Days,” Stone Axe proffered memorable craft the whole time through, keeping a mellow groove beneath even its most active moments despite changes in instrumentation and mood. Live, the band included the rhythm section of bassist Mike DuPont and drummer Mykey Haslip, but in the studio it was just vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Tony Reed.

If the latter name is familiar, it should be. Reed partnered with Brinkerhoff and launched Stone Axe after putting his prior outfit, Mos Generator, to rest in indefinite-hiatus style following 2007’s Songs for Future Gods, which, like Stone Axe I, was released through Roadburn Records. Mos Generator‘s own classic heavy rock influence was one thing, but Stone Axe brought it to another level entirely. Listening to the Led Zeppelin-style blast of “Sky is Falling” and the telltale Thin Lizzy bounce of the subsequent “There’d Be Days” — as well as that in closer “Taking Me Home” — Stone Axe did nothing to mask the direct lines they drew to titans of ’70s heavy, in the Mellotron finish of “My Darkest Days” and the infuriatingly catchy blues rocker “Black Widow,” the band evoked a sense of melancholy beneath a harder-driving atmosphere, but the album never lost its sense of class either in theme or delivery. “The Skylah Rae” told a tale of humans leaving Earth on a giant ship that shared its name with the title, and side B brought about some considerable turns in momentum, whether it was the boogie of “Rhinoceros” or the swagger of “Diamonds and Fools.” Penultimate groover “Return of the Worm” brought a perfectly-paced rhythmic nod to bear and topped it with Brinkerhoff‘s boozy vocals, which were no less classic than any other element put to use, be it instrument or production. The dude absolutely killed on vocals. Just nailed it.

And in many ways, it’s the Brinkerhoff/Reed partnership that’s essential to understand when it comes to Stone Axe. stone axe iConsider that, at that point, Reed was coming off playing guitar and handling vocals in Mos Generator, and that he was also prone to not only recording the band’s albums but releasing them as well. I don’t know who penned the lyrics for Stone Axe, but even if he did, for Reed to step out of the frontman position and relinquish that to anyone else must have been a significant sacrifice for a band that was still ostensibly his as he was writing the songs and playing guitar, bass, drums and whatever else. Stone Axe was a significant turn away from Mos Generator precisely because Reed brought Brinkerhoff on board as the vocalist in order to better capture that classic rock feel, which, again Brinkerhoff‘s voice seemed to be made to bring to life.

And speaking of life, how about those live-recorded tracks on Stone Axe I, huh? Well, no. It would’ve been impossible with just Reed handling all the instruments. Natural sounding cuts like “My Darkest Days” and “Diamonds and Fools,” that easy groove in “Black Widow” and “The Skylah Rae” would’ve had to have been tracked one instrument at a time — probably the drums first, then bass, guitar and whatever keys after. Then Brinkerhoff would be able to sing over the final tracks. Yet Stone Axe I in no way sounds pieced together in this way. It sounds like players in a room hashing it out. Stone Axe I did a better job capturing a live feel than a lot of albums that are recorded live, and it’s a credit to Reed as a producer that that was the case. The material lends itself to an organic vibe, to be sure, but it would’ve been easy for the songs to come out staid and lifeless, and they’re anything but.

Like its 2010 follow-up, Stone Axe II (review here), Stone Axe I was reissued via Ripple Music after Reed signed with the label in 2010. I got to write the liner notes for the second record. A slew of releases were hinted at in that announcement, including a third full-length — which at one point they even started writing — but the band’s last studio outing would be a split with Germany’s Wight on Fat & Holy Records in 2012, the same year Ripple put out both Stone Axe‘s Captured Live! Roadburn Festival 2011 and Mos Generator‘s return long-player, Nomads (review here), the success of which effectively relaunched that band, which would go on to revamp its lineup and become the full-time touring act they remain until now. In the meantime, Reed channeled his love of classic heavy into a solo covers release called The Lost Chronicles of Heavy Rock, Vol. 1 in 2015, which he’s newly pressed onto CD ahead of a quick run of Midwestern Mos Generator shows next month that will take them to the Stoned Meadow of Doom festival.

Though a third Stone Axe album would never manifest, it’s somehow all the more fitting that, like so much of the ’70s heavy rock movement that inspired them it would be somewhat cut short only to have the two albums go on to become cult classics as they have and no doubt will continue to do. Would I ever say never on a Stone Axe resurgence? Never. But with Mos Generator topping tour bills and playing gigs like the Main Stage at Hellfest in France, one could hardly argue Reed‘s time continues to be anything other than well spent. Stone Axe was what it was, and I’m glad there are the records to document that, because it’s worth preserving.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Goodness gracious. Was it enough week for you? It was definitely enough for me. I feel like my head’s still spinning from the Quarterly Review. I have a ritual I undertake every time I finish one of those where I clear the folders off my desktop — they go in my Albums folder — and delete the header because I’m not going to use it again, and I don’t even think I have the energy to do it. Maybe tomorrow, though probably not.

My plan for tonight is to go see Sasquatch at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. I’m hemming and hawing and of course everything depends on the baby, so we’ll see. If I leave at seven I’ll get to Brooklyn by 9, blah blah blah. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can get my ass out of the house. Tomorrow morning it’s a drive north to Connecticut and then seeing Backwoods Payback in New London. Then Sunday it’s back to New York for Bible of the Devil. As of right now I want to hit all three shows. Next weekend I want to do the same thing. Three shows, three nights in a row, and then that’s probably my quota for the rest of the year, surprise YOB gigs if there are any and Psycho Las Vegas notwithstanding.

Depending on what I actually get to — this is an ambitious plan, I recognize — is the schedule for next week, but here’s the notes as they stand now:

Mon.: Sasquatch live review/Arcadian Child premiere.
Tue.: Backwoods Payback live review; CB3 video premiere.
Wed.: Bible of the Devil live review; Lurk track premiere.
Thu.: Sergio Ch. video premiere.
Fri. Forming the Void premiere/review.

That’s a lot of live reviews for one week. Feels like even more coming off a Quarterly Review. But again, I’m going to try. If it doesn’t pan out, there are always plenty of albums to be written up.

Thanks for reading this week if you did, and either way, please have a great and safe weekend. Maybe I’ll see you at a show. I hope so.

All the best. Forum and Radio.

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